Home, Garden, and DIY
"But one strange year, Halloween came early..."
~ from Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes
The Broad Fork: Recipes for the Wide World of Vegetables and Fruits by Hugh Acheson"What the hell do I do with kohlrabi?" Spurred by this blunt question from a neighbor, James Beard Award winner Hugh Acheson assembled what he calls a "vegetable-centric guide to seasonal offerings." This collection of 200 recipes features over 50 different types of fruits and veggies, from staples such as potatoes, carrots, and apples, to more esoteric items such as sunchokes, fiddlehead ferns, and salsify. So much variety could seem daunting in less sure hands, but Acheson's enthusiastic attitude makes it feel exciting instead. Illustrated with mouthwatering color photos, The Broad Fork is perfect for gardeners, CSA members, or anyone curious about how to make a tasty kohlrabi salad.
Geek Knits: Over 30 Projects for Fantasy Fanatics, Science Fiction Fiends... by Toni Carr; photographs by Kyle CassidySince knitting tends to foster a deep and passionate devotion, it's hardly surprising that many knitters are also fervent fans in other areas of their lives. In Geek Knits, Toni Carr (known in fandom circles as "Joan of Dark") addresses such knitters with designs inspired by fantasy, science fiction, and other fan-favorite genres across all media. Here you'll find a Doctor Who-style bow tie, a pet-sized Starfleet uniform, and a deerstalker hat (à la Sherlock Holmes), as well as a soft toy dire wolf (modeled by George R.R. Martin himself in one of several celebrity cameos). And if your preferred fandom isn't represented, don't panic -- try Carr's previous book, Knits for Nerds.
Maangchi's Real Korean Cooking: Authentic Dishes for the Home Cook by Maangchi with Lauren ChattmanPopular YouTube creator Maangchi switches from video to print in this cookbook that Publishers Weekly calls "essential" for newcomers to authentic Korean cuisine. With an upbeat tone and a focus on home cooking, Maangchi begins with the basics (various types of rice), and then dives into detailed instructions for preparing iconic dishes such as bulgogi, bibimbap, and kimchi, as well as tons of other tempting soups, sides, and snacks. Alongside the recipes, you'll get the lowdown on equipment, mealtime etiquette, and sourcing ingredients. If Maangchi gives you a taste for Asian flavors, expand your repertoire with Leela Punyaratabandhu's Simple Thai Food and Bee Yin Low's Easy Chinese Recipes.
The Indestructible Houseplant: 200 Beautiful Plants That Everyone Can Grow by Tovah Martin; photographs by Kindra ClineffExperienced indoor gardeners may already be familiar with Tovah Martin's expert guidance when it comes to potted plants and terrariums, but this book isn't for those with experience -- rather, it's for "windowsill-gardener wannabees" who struggle to keep even a spider plant alive. According to Martin, the key to nurturing houseplants isn't to try harder, but rather to select the right plant. Martin provides a browsable list of 200 "indestructibles" so that you can find your perfect plant match -- one that works for your space and lifestyle. Indoor gardening techniques and tips for working plants into your décor are also included, making The Indestructible Houseplant a fantastic confidence-building resource.
DIY Wardrobe Makeovers: Alter, Refresh & Refashion Your Clothes... by Suzannah Hamlin StanleyIf you've ever tried on a piece of clothing only to learn that the term "ready to wear" doesn't apply in your case, this is the book you've been waiting for. Each of the friendly step-by-step tutorials in DIY Wardrobe Makeovers show you how to use an average home sewing machine to turn off-the-rack clothes into tailored, personalized fashion. Though some of the makeovers transform (turning a dress into a top or flared pants into skinny pants, for instance) while others adapt (shortening hems or letting out waistbands), all turn something ill-fitting into something you can wear with pride. For further wardrobe rehab, pick up The Refashion Handbook by Beth Huntington.
Halloween: Costumes, Carving, and Crafts
Spooky & Bright: 101 Halloween Ideas by Country Living MagazineCrafters who delight in exploring the intersection of festive and macabre will appreciate this collection of Country Living's most gorgeously ghoulish Halloween projects. If you're planning a party -- or a haunted house -- you'll relish this book's advice for entertaining, which include recipes for creepy-cute snacks, decorating ideas (greet your guests with a wreath of glow-in-the-dark eyeballs!), and a plethora of pumpkins (painted, carved, embellished, or artfully arranged). The instructions in Spooky & Bright are best suited to crafters with a bit of experience; beginners or families may prefer Carole Nicksin's All You: Frightfully Fun Halloween Handbook.
Extreme Pumpkin Carving by Vic Hood and Jack A. WilliamsIf the words "jack-o'-lantern" cause you to conjure up an image of three glowing triangles and a toothy grin, Extreme Pumpkin Carving may offer you a dramatic alternative. Woodworkers Vic Hood and Jack A. Williams urge would-be pumpkin artists to bypass the tedious, messy hollowing process and skip straight to the carving. Done with basic kitchen knives and various woodcarving tools, their designs use relief-carving to create meticulous, vivid faces out of pumpkins of all sizes. Want to pump up the fright factor on your jack-o'-lanterns? Check out the ghastly gourds in Tom Nardone's Extreme Pumpkins and Extreme Pumpkins II.
Once Upon a Knit: 28 Grimm and Glamorous Fairytale Projects by Genevieve MillerDIY costuming enthusiasts are sure to be enchanted by this compilation of knitting projects inspired by fairy tales both classic and contemporary. With these patterns, you can make a chain mail hoodie for a daring knight, a pointy-eared hat for a big bad wolf, or a crystal-studded vest for a snow queen. You can even accessorize your whimsical new wardrobe with items like a cuddly dragon softie or a yellow brick-patterned bag. And once you've knitted your way to "happily ever after," you can diversify your costume closet with Vampire Knits (also by Genevieve Miller), Stephanie Dosen's Woodland Knits, or Alison Hansel's Charmed Knits.
Artful Halloween: 31 Frightfully Elegant Projects by Susan WasingerIn Artful Halloween, designer Susan Wasinger proves that Halloween decorating can be eerie and atmospheric without being tacky or expensive. Using basic (and often repurposed) materials, crafters of all skill levels can easily create an arcane ambience with alchemy-inspired garlands and dainty "blood"-spattered bouquets; liven up a photobooth with clever felt beards and paper hats; or pretty up pumpkins with paint, ribbons, and studs. If "a bit of style and eco-chic" (Library Journal) is what you're after this October 31st, don't miss Artful Halloween.
Steampunk Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos: A Maker's Guide to Creating Modern Artifacts by Thomas WillefordPairing Victorian fashion with retro-futuristic technology, steampunk costumes are often marvels of DIY invention. This detailed guide is a steampunk hobbyist's treasure trove of ideas and instruction, providing not only in-depth directions for making gadgets like Aetheric Ray Deflector Goggles and Professor Grimmeloie's Mark 1 Superior Replacement Arm, but also a run-down of useful tools and methods for scavenging the necessary machine components. Equal parts art and engineering, Steampunk Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos will appeal to makers, crafters, and cosplayers alike.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Kitchener Public Library
85 Queen St. North
Kitchener, Ontario N2H2H1